back to article Germany says no steamy ebooks until die Kinder have gone to bed

A regulator in Germany says websites must only offer downloads of sexually explicit ebooks between 10pm and 6am. Essentially, the Youth Protection Authority in Bavaria says 2002-era rules that protect kids from blue movies on TV also cover digital books, publishing trade mag Boersenblatt reports. Telly stations in Germany can …

  1. Chris Puttick

    So, Herr Regulator

    You do not know of the cron job?

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: So, Herr Regulator

      Herr Regulator does not travel much and believes the world is flat. One could though, imagine him in a Los Angeles restaurant demanding breakfast at midnight while emphatically insisting that it is 8 a.m.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: So, Herr Regulator

        And the Americans would be happy to oblige, or is that only in Vegas?

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: So, Herr Regulator

      Kann the Kinder call cron?

      At 10pm they should be performing the "sleep" command.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ve Haff Banned Talk Off Ze "cron jobs" Too

      He looked up "cron job" on Urban Dictionary and unfortunately got something describing an unutterably disgusting, perverted and nonexistent sex act made up by a couple of bored 13-year-olds.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ve Haff Banned Talk Off Ze "cron jobs" Too

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Ve Haff Banned Talk Off Ze "cron jobs" Too

          There's much there and after scrolling down the page, much that cannot be unread.... Anyone know where I can purchase brain bleach?

          1. moiety

            Re: Ve Haff Banned Talk Off Ze "cron jobs" Too

            You will probably recover in time provided you don't look up felching*

            *You will regret it if you do. Especially if you plan to eat at some point.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully the German authorities will publish a full and frank list of offending sites and titles that will be time limited, so we know which ones to avoid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh, they will.

      It's called The Index and it already lists things like videos and magazines.

      1. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: Oh, they will.

        I thought "The Index" was just for people with super-powers? I think SHIELD are exceeding their mandate here.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh, they will.

        "It's called The Index and it already lists things like videos and magazines."

        Assuming it doesn't include anything illegal, seems to me that it could be a wonderful resource. Is there a "submissions" address where I can share any fave sites they've missed?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh, they will.

          For those who want to go hunting for the index, this wikipedia article is a good place to start.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      superior pirate service 24/7

      This seems like as good an opportunity as any to increase ebook piracy

  3. yakitoo
    Paris Hilton

    Will be very interesting to see what their idea of steamy is.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Will be very interesting to see what their idea of steamy is.

      Books about historic railways - very steamy, and oily, with lots of explicit photographs, and even ... diagrams!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I heard there is a kinkier version

        with steamboats too, even WWI Dreadnoughts

    2. TitterYeNot

      "Will be very interesting to see what their idea of steamy is."

      Ah, the excellent 'Pantyhose Cravings'', I know it well.

      I can also highly recommend its most tittilating sister publications 'Hunger for Hosiery', 'Gasping Gussets' and of course the classic 'Control Panty Proclivities'...

  4. Anonymous Coward


    The idea of a watershed is that after the set time children are presumed to be in bed.

    So, what will children be doing after 10 in their bedrooms? Apart from the obvious things, they'll be on their computers. And therefore free to download the stuff anyway.


    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      I've had similar thoughts back when I was a kid with television. The channels would block all the explicit stuff before my parents went to bed, so they remained unaware of what is broadcast late at night on the movies channels, but I sure wasn't.

      I found it quite ironic that the thing set up to protect children did exactly that, except it was protecting young boys from their parents...

    2. P. Lee

      Re: Eh?

      > So, what will children be doing after 10 in their bedrooms?

      Perhaps the Germans idea of the "children" who need protecting is different from the simplistic American idea that the law is the be-all and end-all of existence.

      Perhaps they just don't want porn mixed with "bob the builder" books for six-year-olds. The teenagers aren't going to be fussed or limited, which is probably fine by all.

  5. ratfox Silver badge

    Good to know

    Nice that children will be protected from downloading smut stories. After the government managed to ensure they wouldn't be able find porn from the web, that was the last threat to their young and impressionable minds.

    I mean, it's obvious that porn web sites are not letting anybody download porn until after 10, right?


  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: So it's OK to invade Poland...

      It is now more than 75 years since the Nazi regime invaded Poland. How about updating the sneers to be about countries that have invaded other countries for no reason whatever much more recently - such as the USA and the UK?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So it's OK to invade Poland...

        "It is now more than 75 years since the Nazi regime invaded Poland."

        That's true. But currently the jackboot is on the throat of Greece, trying to force them to repay the foolish and reckless lending of French & German banks that should have been written off, and ultimately will have to be, since the solution that Merckel is leading on is simply to offer additional loans to repay old loans.

        1. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: So it's OK to invade Poland...

          Repaying would be easy if the Greeks paid their taxes like everyone else...

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: So it's OK to invade Poland...

          Whilst I feel for the Greek people, many of whom are suffering because of the recklessness of their neighbours and government, I find it hard to entirely place the blame on Germany and France for maliciously lending them money. Indeed, both Germany and France are at risk of major losses out of all this and can hardly be accused of some villainous masterplan about it.

          In either case, it still doesn't make jokes about invading Poland any fresher. Please, get some new material for all our sakes.

          (this message sent from a British person)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So it's OK to invade Poland...

            "it still doesn't make jokes about invading Poland any fresher. Please, get some new material for all our sakes."

            What you want Germany to do something that we can joke about for another seventy years?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So it's OK to invade Poland...

          Actually the banks got their money back from the loans made to Greece 3 years ago by the IMF (controlled by the French) and the ECB. The Greeks' share was a round of 'austerity measures' that, unsurprisingly, shrank their economy by ~20%, hence increasing the magic debt to GDP ratio and resulting in the great success we see around us today. In fact its worked so well they're going to do more of it.

      2. Suricou Raven

        Re: So it's OK to invade Poland...

        You don't have to keep all that loathing for yourself. Russia is suitable for insulting too.

        Putin has invented a whole new form of warfare: Implausible deniability.

  7. SolidSquid

    It could well be this is just a judge wanting to highlight a really badly written law by sticking to exactly what is written when this came to him. Generally judges don't get to determine what the law actually is, just whether a case is in breach of the law, so this is one of the few ways they can create pressure to fix things which are broken

    1. iSchluff

      It's not really new regulation either

      The lawsuit was only started by the youth protection authority because they received a complaint about a particular ebook. As there is no special regulation for ebooks and other adult media content can only be shown after 10pm (like in movie theatres or on television), they applied that particular regulation here. But as the Boersenblatt article says, they are also searching for a less stupid way to regulate ebooks.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I thought Germany was a country with generally light regulation about sexual matters? They have legalised brothels and the age of consent is 14. When, and why, did they start regressing to a "think of the children" moral panic?

    1. Grikath

      Re: Confusing

      Germany at large? yes, very liberal, especially compared to the UK/US. German Official Chairwarmers? Not so much.

  9. Christoph Silver badge

    So German children won't be able to buy porn on the net - and will have to resort to merely reading and watching the vast amount of porn that is available for free on the net.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no pinkie-winkie?!

    and how about yourporn?! oh mum!!!

  11. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Is that an accurate translation?

    My Gernan isn't wonderful, but I think "Schlauch" might be a more common-or-garden hose, rather than the stocking type. Especially since this appears to be a book about a male-to-female transexual stripper.

    Either way, artist Ute Stender-Killguss who has an exhibition entitled "Schlauchlust" in Hamburg on the 15th August might have to push the opening times of 13:00-17:00 to later in the evening, lest children be exposed to her rubber fetish [SFW]...

    1. Chris Daemon

      Re: Is that an accurate translation?

      Schlauch is "hose" in that sense. The word "Schlauchgelüste" itself is a compound word – germans have about 100 words, the rest is compounds of those, usually prepending "ge", "ver" and often appending a lot of "heit", "keit", "bar", "en". There is phlegm to add more gravitas in front of a non-german audience, but I digress.

      As nonsensical as the word seems to me, it may just be a dumb neologism: let me create a new word for ya, because I can. For example, Weltschmerz (old one, never dying), Fremdschämen (2009, get used to that one), Zeitgeist (not even you know what it *really* means), which have an established meaning, usually (and only) by repetition. If you take a closer look, most of those words have the stench of intellectuals clinging to them; usually, to invoke instantaneous head-nodding at dinner parties.

      Wieauchimmer, Schlauchgelüste may just be like Fahrvergnügen (credit Volkswagen ad campaign). A word created for the purpose to be unique.

      Just because it's german doesn't mean it has to make sense.

      "Schlauch" *could* also refer to penis (think "trunk"), which makes sense with the lusting part, at least.

      So, to answer your question: A definite maybe.

      Caveat: This is the first time I have come across that word, and I cannot find a reference. Words can also be rather local, where someone in Munich knows a word that is not in use in Hamburg. So, I can be my usual ignorant/dumb self as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is that an accurate translation?

        You're missing the part where other languages, including english, do exactly the same thing - create phrases using different words. The only difference is that in german they skip the space when a noun modifies another. (the pre- and post-fixes that you mentioned are unrelated to compounding: heit and keit just turn adjectives to nouns, bar turns verbs into adjectives, ge forms the participle, en at the end is just how all verbs end, ver is a modifier historically more or less equivalent to pre/pro)

      2. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

        "There is phlegm to add more gravitas in front of a non-german audience, but I digress"

        +1 for that. MANY years ago at university, my Foreign Languages professor explained the German "ch" sound thusly:

        "in Munich, you simply pronounce it like 'sh', but in the north... hock up a big ol' loogie." It should be noted that hearing more or less correctly pronounced German from someone who otherwise speaks with a distinctly Southern [US] drawl is very amusing.

        1. VeganVegan

          Re: "in Munich, you simply pronounce it like 'sh'"

          I had a German teacher from Saarland way back when, so my German ch's are all sh's.

          He was a poet, and had a low opinion of guttural throat clearing ch's.

      3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Is that an accurate translation?

        Mark Twain: "Life is too short to learn German"

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Is that an accurate translation?

          See also "The Awful German Language":

    2. Kamermans

      Re: Is that an accurate translation?

      please look at my comment nr. 62 what SCHLAUCHGELÜSTE really means Has nothing to doy with your proposals but with "inside"-feelings during anal-sex

  12. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    More proof, as if it were needed, that politicians are idiots.

    We need a better way.

    1. Vector

      Re: More proof, as if it were needed, that politicians are idiots.

      What? To prove politicians are idiots?

  13. Tachikoma

    One thing that has always confused me in the UK, my 10 year old son can't go buy a 12 rated Guardians of the Space War on DVD as someone says "shit" in it, but my 13 year old niece can walk into Waterstones and pick up 50 Shades of Unimaginitive Bondage in paperback and read graphic depictions of barely passable sex.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Thats why we need to burn books

  14. Graham Marsden

    "It is not clear at this time how the ebook retailers will respond"

    See icon for details...

    1. PleebSmash

      Re: "It is not clear at this time how the ebook retailers will respond"


  15. Dan 55 Silver badge

    It's never been so easy to read e-books as on a Kindle

    Your young professional in her Frankfurt city pad with no children within a mile radius picks up Kindle, searches the online shop, buys 50 Shades e-book via one click, and then finally lets her imagination run riot with "Bitte warten Sie 2 Stunden 44 Minuten".

    Much like the original book I suppose.

  16. Sir Barry

    What restrictions do they have in place at libraries then?

    Is there an adults only smut corner?

  17. Robert Carnegie Silver badge


    Is there a German Project Gutenberg?

    Or maybe a Project Venusberg - apparently not, but, this may be a good time to start one.

    I don't read German although I did study it at school. That was a long time ago. Maybe if I'd known -

    1. John Gamble

      Re: Hypothetical

      Hmm, an admittedly quick search only found me the Multilingual Books site that's specifically set up for German-reading readers.

      They do in turn have the list of books and magazines on Project Gutenberg in German.

  18. Chris Daemon

    Yes, Verginia, there is a Kinky Klaus

    "Telemedien", which covers e-books like movies and tv programmes, are regulated by time (after 2200 hours, german). The 'Murrican, puritan model does not apply (haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy - Mencken). IMHO, this is generic german obsession with rules than with morality.

    The reason why Germany seems to have (a usually) balanced harmony of innocent grandma shows (pre 10pm) next to coprophilous rubber men orgies (10pm) is living with exactly those rules of separation. Protect the young, Jugendschutzgesetz. This did not stop me from watching Braindead when I was a teen, but it worked in general. Once you are 18, you are deemed capable to watch things like "Poopoo Platter, Part 8", buy furry handcuffs, and read all the smut until Mr Happy is rubbed raw. This is not to say that the JsG is always good, it has its flaws.

    But morality is not the issue, here. Germans just just aren't technically savvy when it comes to the internet. Their obsession with HTML Frames suggests a systemic misunderstanding how it all works. It isn't too farfetched then, that they want to impose a window of time (germany has only one time-zone). A misunderstanding of technology, perhaps.

    As to the (supposed) tranny smut, who knows. It may be the next 50 Shades or a Kafkaesque masterpiece. Odds are, it is rather saucy, and thereby verboten for youngens. And why wouldn't it be? Normal, abnormal, and questionable sexual material has an effect on an undercooked mind – so unpredictable, that it's worth protecting the young. Lest it creates a confused sexual deviant who makes problems for everyone else, down the road.

    As to judging rules of timely access, let me take the liberty to paraphrase a retort to anyone living outside of Germany, having a problem with those rules: GTFO, we respect your silly rules, and these are ours, move along you tea-bagging whiners.

    In other words, those rules may be incomprehensible to you, but germans have quite the history of being sexually aware in general. Kolle and Uhse paved the way in terms of sexual realization (it's just sex), and the fact the Reeperbahn and St Georg (both Hamburg) exist and thrive are testament to common sense morality.

    I want to believe that Germany actually tries to precisely measure pornography – when it is, when it isn't. Americans punish you because "we don't know, but it probably is fun". And the Sand People kill you, because "no fun allowed".

    Credit to @iSchluff for inspiration, above.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Herr Regulator

    More than happy to oblige! My pleasure!

    Please point me to the URL where I can get the list of things that are banned and why (and by whom, if the criteria are in any way subjective), tell me how often that list is updated, and also tell me how to recover the costs incurred in following your rules if I am not a German business?

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The article gives a link to an English translation of the rules.

    On a very quick scan - "children" and "adolescents" are respectively "under-14" and "under-18". There is some further division into several age groups for purposes of media proscriptions - under-12, under-14, under-16, and under-18.

    The watershed for under-16s starts at 22:00 - but for under-18s it starts at 23:00. It ends at 06:00 for both.

    Looking at the "Illegal content" rules - "Fritz The Cat" might be totally banned on grounds of sex, violence, animals, and virtual representation.

  22. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Australia is not the only country with clueless politicians when it come to the inter tubes!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Wunderbar

      For Australia to be unusual it would have to have politicians who were clue-full about the intertubes.

      In other words, you are in good company with the rest of the world!

  23. nijam

    > What makes a book sexually explicit, or to use the regulator's words, "youth endangering"?

    Any fascist goverment will be able to answer that for you. (They may not all agree, unfortunately.)

  24. moiety

    And again. Lawmakers should be banned from passing laws on things they haven't a clue about. In this case timezones and the obvious mechanics of the world they are standing on.

  25. Andrew Jones 2

    .....waits for the next article where Germany realises that the only possible way to make this work logically - is if the entire world was on German time - and hence starts insisting that the rest of the world switch to German time...... it's not as if the idea of ruling the world is a foreign concept to Germany after all......

  26. Kamermans

    SCHLAUCHGELÜSTE is not guilty !

    SCHLAUCHGELÜSTE (2012 written under pseudonym Jacob Winter) is a fact-novel with autobiographical background an describes specially my times as transgender-striptease-dancer Gina de Senfal in nightlife of the 60th and 70 th yeears. De ebook was taken from market at the end of 2013 and was in june 2014 replaced by the in content nearly idemtical ebook ERREGUNGEN Champagner für die Transfrau (written by Johanna Kamermans). SCHLAUCHGELÜSTE is an euphemism für good anal feelings during analsex This kind of sexual activities was quite new in those "wild" years but I think absolutely no more in 2015 - and certainly the novel is therefore not "pornographical". The english translation from SCHLAUCHGELÜSTE ( inside the body) by "pantyhose cravings" (outside the body) is nonsense

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